Hawaii is the scene of one of the most pivotal events in world history.

The surprise attack on the U.S naval base at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii by Imperial Japan on the morning of Sunday December 7, 1941, forced the United States into World War II and ultimately turned the tide of the War.

Pearl Harbor is located on the Island of Oahu in the suburbs of Honolulu (the capital of Hawaii), a short distance west of Honolulu International Airport.

Two Japanese attacks in fact sunk or crippled 18 American ships and 188 American aircraft were destroyed. U.S military installations also came under attack.
2,403 Americans were killed, including 1,177 USS Arizona personnel. In comparison, Japanese casualties were approximately 160 men, 29 aircraft and 6 submarines.

Today, a little more than 70 years after the attack, the USS Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor is one of the top Hawaiian holiday attractions welcoming well over 1,500,000 visitors each year.

For many, these historic sites form an important part of any individuals experience on their Hawaii holidays.

A visit to the Pearl Harbor Visitor Centre includes an interpretive programme in the company of a National Park Service Ranger, the opportunity to view documentaries about the attack(s), and a boat trip to the Memorial dedicated to the crew of the USS Arizona – their final resting place.

Visitors can also enjoy the USS Arizona Memorial Museum and the waterfront promenade. The landscaped area to the rear of the Visitor Centre features waterfront exhibits and a fantastic view of Ford Island which was the focal point of the Japanese attack.

Visitor Centre facilities also include an area for snacking, a central courtyard, restrooms and administrative areas.

Ultimately, a visit to Pearl Harbor and the USS Arizona Memorial is a solemn experience, even for visitors not alive when the events took place. When you visit the gleaming white, 184-foot long concrete structure which spans the sunken Arizona you are quite literally standing over a grave site where 1,177 men lost their lives.

Since the dedication of the USS Arizona Memorial in 1962, further additions to the historic importance of the area have been made with the Battleship Missouri Memorial in 1999 and the opening of the Pacific Aviation Museum in 2006.

A designated National Historic Landmark, a visit to Pearl Harbor offers holidaymakers in Hawaii a chance to see where history was made, this makes their Hawaii holidays experience something to remember .

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